Bethesda continues to roll out the news. Today, word has come out that the armor system for Skyrim will be overhauled. Matt Carafano, who has the enviable job of Lead Artist for the game, said,
“The armor system is very similar to Oblivion’s. The main difference is that the upper and lower body armors, the cuirass and greaves, have been combined into one piece. This helps create armor styles that have the look we needed for Skyrim. In most of the Nordic designs we created, the upper armor would completely cover the lower armor, making it unnecessary. We get much better visual results combining those pieces, and it renders a lot faster too, so we can put more people on screen, so that was an easy tradeoff for us. We can also make a lot more armors now, so the number and variation types are more than we’ve ever had.”
So the armor of Skyrim will be metal onesies? Ugh. Compared to the system employed in either Morrowind or (especially) Oblivion, this is a tad disappointing. Gone are the über-obsessive choices of matching epaulets, body armor proper, pants, et cetera, instead replaced by a “like or leave it” system of choosing whatever fits best. Theoretically, this could also damage the immersive feel that the games are known for by forcing a player to view an item as a solid unit and not as an experience of equipping oneself.
However, an additional update on their changes to the blacksmithing system brings more promise than the armor changes:
“The blacksmith’s shop includes a forge, a grindstone, and a smithing bench. You can improve your weapons at the grindstone. The higher your skill, the more you can improve them, and the more damage they’ll do. Same thing for armor with the smithing bench, only the armor rating gets better. The forge is actually used to create new weapons and armor from raw materials.”
One can’t help but wonder what sort of materials will be available for the new crafting system. Hopefully the chance of failure will be as interesting as a success, per Elder Scrolls previous raw ingestion dynamic. Anyone want to make a sword imbued with cheese and mushrooms?